Changing the Perception of Seafood Consumption
Petaling Jaya: A blind taste test done by WWF-Malaysia recently shows that 77.9% of the respondents have the perception that the texture of wild caught fish is better than farmed fish but 71% of them found farmed fish to be acceptable after the test.
“The survey result shows that 58.4% of respondents ranked the farmed fish as having better flesh texture than the wild caught fish,” said Ms Chitra Devi, Sustainable Seafood Manager of WWF-Malaysia.
“It is great to see that more consumers are willing to support fish farmed in a sustainable manner, as responsibly farmed fish can be a solution to the depleting wild fish stock,” Ms Chitra added.
In an attempt to get people to switch to more sustainable seafood products, the blind taste test were carried out using Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farmed tilapia, Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) sea bass and wild caught sea bass during the WWF-Malaysia’s Sustainable Seafood Festival (SSF17) public event at 1Utama Shopping Centre from 24 to 28 May 2017. During the 5-day event, an estimated 12,000 people were engaged and over 1,300kg of responsibly farmed fish were sold consisting of sea bass, grouper, golden pomfret from AIP Marine Stewardship Council (MSC); as well as certified cod, ASC certified salmon and tilapia from responsible seafood partners Goh Siong Tee (GST) Group and Trapia.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2013 report, Malaysians are the sixth biggest consumer of seafood globally at 56.5kg per capita. Hence, consumers play an important role in the supply chain as consumer demand drives the seafood industry. WWF-Malaysia hopes to change market demand by empowering the public to become responsible seafood consumers through continuous awareness on how and where they can support sustainable seafood.
Another seafood market survey was also conducted to find out consumers’ seafood consumption preferences and factors influencing them. The result shows that both freshness and taste factors are critical for the consumers’ enjoyment of seafood, at 56.5% and 43.5% respectively.
Ms Chitra said, “WWF recognizes MSC and ASC certified seafood as sustainable seafood. These eco-labels not only help transform the seafood market to becoming more sustainable, but also ensure that the seafood is traceable every step of the way along the supply chain, from fishery to processor to supplier to consumers.”
“This guarantees the seafood is fresh and safe for consumption as consumers cannot track the origin and freshness of non-certified seafood products available in the market. Hence, WWF-Malaysia encourages consumers to look out for the MSC and ASC labelled products.”
WWF-Malaysia will continue engaging with businesses such as seafood producers, suppliers, hotels, restaurants to better promote and market sustainable seafood products in Malaysia and to increase accessibility and variety of certified seafood products to consumers. In conjunction with the SSF17, two business events attended by over 55 participants from the local seafood industry were conducted in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu and a media trip to responsible aquaculture farms.
WWF-Malaysia is organizing “Happy Ocean Movie Night” on 17 June 2017 at Sunway GEO Avenue (opposite Sunway Medical Centre) from 6p.m. onwards. Admission is free for this event targeted towards family fun. For more information on activities and R.S.V.P., please visit My Fin My Life Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sharkhero/.
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For more information, please contact:
Chin Ming Wei
Communications and Campaigns Officer (Marine), WWF-Malaysia (PJ Office)
Tel: +603-7450 3773
Interim Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia (PJ Office)
Tel: +603-7450 3773